You may recall I described the Summer Term as the hardest term of my teaching career. I have to admit, this term has been rather challenging too but I have been astounded by the efforts of my colleagues to ensure the children remain safe and continue to enjoy a first class education. It really has been a team effort and I am proud and humbled in equal measures to lead the staff of Red House. The children have been phenomenal too and I am sure you are going to make this a Christmas to remember; they deserve to be rewarded.
The Festivities Today
The pupils and staff had a fantastic final day on both sides of the pond enjoying a huge range of festive activities and treats. Quizzes, parties, snowball dodgeball, Christmas dingbats, chocolate tombolas and a visit from Father Christmas have all kept the children entertained. I would like to say a huge thank you to Sara & Simon from Crafters Companion, who very generously donated all of the resources and equipment for our mindfulness Christmas card activity. At lunchtime, the pupils and staff enjoyed a delicious pizza lunch from Dominos; a big thank you to Mike and Steve for organising this. Many thanks to the PTA too for organising the chocolate tombola and for sending the children on their way with a selection box.
The Yearbook has now been published. It is a review of the last school year and a celebration of life at Red House. The children will be bringing it home this afternoon (one per family). Families who have not been in school will receive a copy in the new year.
The government has published information on the extra measures in place to support pupils ahead of next summer’s exams; it can be found here. A letter was also sent to all Year 11 parents this week; I hope you received it. The government has also published ‘Exams 2021 Parents Q&A’ to complement this letter which can be found here.
You will recall that we only billed 50% for lunches for the Autumn term. We have found that the provision of packed lunches has not led to savings and, therefore, we will be billing for the full amount next term. This also coincides with the provision of more hot lunches during the week for the children.
We have been very fortunate with the limited number of positive cases in school. Obviously, we still need to remain vigilant and follow protocols. I will be available at the beginning of next week to deal with any cases which impact on our pupils. Please contact me via email should you feel school needs to be aware of a positive test (probably up to Wednesday).
First Day of Term
We return on Monday 4 January. Again, please make me aware of anyone with symptoms or testing positive before the beginning of term. I am not sure many of you will be travelling overseas before the beginning of term but please can I ask you to bear in mind periods of quarantine should you choose to do so.
I would like to make special mention of our new colleagues who have joined our community under exceptional circumstances. Mr Heron, Mrs Taylor and Ms van der Heyden have slipped seamlessly into the well-oiled cogs of Red House. I would like to make particular mention of Dr Ashcroft. Being my deputy is never an easy task but she has done so with distinction and I know she is already looking forward to her second term at Red House; she has penned some thoughts below.
I would like to wish you a joyous Christmas with your loved ones. At the age of 49 I’m spending my first Christmas in my own home, hosting family for the first time. It’s about time I took my turn although, given my culinary skills, it might be my last.
With best wishes
My first term at Red House School by Dr Ashcroft
I cannot fully believe that my first term at Red House School is over. Right from my very first day, I felt instantly embraced into the Red House family. The pupils, staff, parents and School Council members have all made me feel incredibly welcome and part of this very special community.
Despite the restrictions placed on us by COVID-19 this term, we have been very busy and productive. For example, the Prefect Team has produced and led a number of assemblies and helped with our charitable causes; the Year 11 pupils have sat their mock examinations; pupils across both sites have been embracing their own wellbeing, by actively participating in mindfulness activities, both as part of their PSHE programme and in their tutor time in the morning. In the Senior School this week, I led a whole-school assembly on Random Acts of Kindness and the pupils have been challenged to complete a Random Acts of Kindness Bingo activity over the Christmas break; a guide to ideas can be found here.
Next term, we will be building on this foundation, and the pupils from Years 2-11, will be completing a daily Attitude of Gratitude activity, as well as creating their form’s very own ‘little jars of kindness’. The Prefect Team will be starting their Spring Term portfolios, which include a focus on wellbeing, inclusion, the environment, sports, co-curricular and academic matters.
I wish you all a very restful and Merry Christmas and I am looking forward to greeting the children back into school on Monday 4 January.
Dr Rebecca Ashcroft
Deputy Head and Head of the Senior School
Senior School Letters
Junior School Letters